How did Iggy Azalea, an ex-pat Australian fashion model, become a crucial part of hip-hop scenes of the Dirty South (she's on B.o.B.'s "Best Friend"), Harlem (her ex-beau is A$AP Rocky), and the wonky world overseen by multinational music maker Diplo (producer of her mix tape
)? That is a dissertation for another time.
What is up for discussion is the vitality of Iggy's attitudinal sass-rapping - a catty, sing-song flow that snaps and crackles with succinct punctuation and a weird, unidentifiable faux-Southern accent - her simple, caustically humorous, foul-lingo lyrics, and the trap-step party-ball anthems she's crafted for The New Classic, released just in time for Saturday's sold-out showcase at the Theatre of Living Arts.
She didn't seem to need the help of the more critically approved Lorde, who recently defended Iggy against some wretchedly mean album reviews. Blonder-than-blonde and proud of her posterior (from the cut of her clothes to the confidence in her stride), Iggy had her goddess-tall stage hauteur down cold and her pimp hand held high from the second she bounded through the "Hotel Iggy" doors for her set's throbbing electro opener, "Beat Down," through to the churchy closer, "Work."
Between those sonic poles, Iggy, her team of singers and dancers, and DJ/hype man Wizz Kidd entertained by any means necessary.
Iggy pulled out her cockiest twang for the glass-tinkling percussive "Bounce," showed off her gold-plated good taste (and the night's catchiest chorus, "who that, who that") in "Fancy," rush-rapped throughout the slow, slurry "Don't Need Y'All," and danced with her butt in the air for effect. ("My twerking days are over," she joked after that rump-shaking interlude.)
While she frankly embraced sexuality every chance she got (some song titles are unprintable), she displayed a fascinating sense of ruined romanticism on "Rolex," with its use of the pricey timepiece as a metaphor for wasting her time on love.
Flashy and fun, Iggy was. Brava.